I am currently working on system, the involves Oracle Spatial technology. This book was going to be me first step (almost) towards getting familliar with Spatial. I was little anxious about the level expected from the book's reader: "Intermediate-Advanced"; I haven't exactly felt like "advanced" in Oracle technology. It wasn't so bad; the book is really well written and I had no problems with understanding anything.
The book consists of six parts (including appendices). All the parts cover following subjects: - Introduction to the technology. Technologies, to be exact; architectures of both, Spatial and Locator options are described - differences between them. - Basic concepts - basic know-how. The part, I needed the most met my expectations in 100%. It helped me to start coding really fast. - Network analysis - more advanced subjects covered, the mostly ARE NOT available in Locator option (one I have access to); network analysis and routing engine, geometry engine. Also indexes and operators are described in one chapter of the book. - Map Visualisation and creation - a lot of knowlege about MapBuilder, MapViewer and it's API - really helpful for anybody, who needs to visualize maps stored in Spatial. - Sample applications and case studies - I always look for such chapter in every IT book I read. This is the place, where programmer might find a lot of answers to one's questions. There is also a chapter in this part, the belongs to the category "MUST read" - "Tips, common mistakes and common errors".
There is also sample code available for the readers - to be downloaded from the publisher's web page. It is really helpful to have it while reading the book. There is only one "but" - was, to be exact. About two weeks after the book had been published, the code wasn't available on the page. At least, I couldn't find it. Now it is possible to download it from here.
The book is really good - "must have" of every Oracle Spatial user. It might be helpful for the beginner and advanced developers as well. I would recommend it to everyone, who needs to get to know Oracle Spatial well. All the 756 pages (excluding index) are filled with reliable knowledge, especially that one of the authors - Ravi Kothuri is a member of Oralce spatial development team, where he works as software architect and team leader.
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Whilst this book undoubtable has masses of useful content it is rendered almost useless at times by
A: The shoddy quality of the references (page 445 for example - you can find details on the tables and their structure in Appendex E. Unfortunately Appendix E discusses Three-Dimensional modelling using point clouds and tins!
B: The poor use of supporting test data with missing or miss-named dmp files available from www.apress.com
I can't recommend it as it stands, not until they pay for someone to properly proof-read it.